College Shopping? 10 Important Things to Look for in a College

Andrew Garrison April 27th 2016 Education
When it comes to college shopping, don’t be afraid to brutal. Be completely honest with yourself about what you are looking for. What do you want your college experience to be? Do you want to become a biochemist, engineer, sociologist, philosopher, psychologist or businessman? Then X school might be the school for you. If you’re going in a completely different direction you may want school Y. No matter what you’re looking for, it’s essential to know the right questions ask. Feel free to use this list as a guideline in determining the right school for you.
1.The Academia
What kind of academics does the school offer, what type of school is it: public, private, technical, liberal arts? Many students choose a college based on the field of study they want to pursue. This may include humanities, the sciences, law, pre-med etc. From there they at least have a rough idea of what classes they’re interested in taking. Next, you have to find out which schools offer these desired programs.
Obviously what type of student you are (A’s, B’s, C’s) can already put your options in front of you as to what schools you could get accepted to. Now if you have the grades and are looking for a high academic experience, you may consider an “Ivy League” school like Harvard or a “Big Ten” like Michigan. Or if you make good grades but are looking for a school that’s closer to home, you could look for a state university. Regardless, in the college researching process, it’s always advantageous to look up school rankings and attend local college fairs. At a local fair you may even discover a school that wasn’t even on your radar. And who knows, you may even go there.
2.The Food
When you go to visit a school, one thing that tour guides usually highlight is the campus dining experience. This is where you get the inside scoop on what type of cuisine your prospective school offers. And while the level of food should not be the deciding factor, good or bad, it still plays a pivotal role. You will eat this food everyday and a portion of your overall tuition pays for it. That being said, most schools offer at least one dining hall and usually a couple other college eateries somewhere on campus. So you are definitely being provided for.
In addition, many students opt to cook their own food. Although dorms are usually limited only to the simplest appliances like microwaves and refrigerators. Schools generally offer “higher living” options to upperclassman which include on campus apartments or suites. These houses are usually equipped with a stove, oven, or the bare essentials to cooking a meal. So don’t dismay if you’re unsatisfied with the food in the cafeteria. In just a couple of years you could be making your own.
3.The Tuition
As of 2015, college tuitions are increasing annually nationwide. Which for many students makes tuition an issue. And while student loans have become the popular norm, sometimes they don’t even suffice. There are however, a few other ways to approach a school’s expense. Students can apply for national grants such as Pell Grants, Academic Competiveness Grants and National SMART Grants. You may also be able to find local scholarship opportunities through various civic and religious organizations.
Also, apply to as many schools as you can. The more schools you apply to, the more likely you are to get larger financial aid packages. And you aren’t necessarily limited to schools within the U.S. Many foreign colleges such as St. Andrews, located in Scotland, have less expensive tuitions than American schools. And if you find that you simply can’t afford a big school, you can always start at a community college or cut costs by commuting from home. As long as you have a concrete plan and a realistic means of paying for your schooling you don’t necessarily have to limit your options.
4.The Campus
The college campus itself is somewhere you will be spending a lot your time. So get acquainted with it, learn the ropes. Know all of the secret passage ways (you’d be surprised). And also get an in depth look at what the building look like from the inside as well as out. What do the classrooms look like, are they well equipped for all your technological needs? Is the health center accessible 24 hours a day?
And there are other things you may want to know as well. Such as, what the hours for the library like. Do non-athletes have full access to the athletic fields and courts? When the chapels are open? Go ahead and do some on campus scouting before you make your decision. In the event, that the campus itself is not that important and you are really after the academics and off-campus life, then you can focus your attention on other aspects. But remember, you’re making an initial commitment for four years so you better like where you’re waking up in the morning.
5.The People
What type of student body are we looking at here? Who are you going to be bumping into at the library after a late of studying? Now it could very well be that your perfect niche group of friends is waiting for you just around the corner. But don’t fall in love with people that aren’t there. If everyone in your school is an academic enthusiast and you’re not, it may not work. School visits and campus tours can allow you to a get a glimpse of campus life and as well as the students who inhabit it.
Now, never distress about meeting different people. It’s always good to expand your horizons. If we are all meant to be the same we would all look alike. With that being said, it can sometimes be counterproductive to hang out with people who you lack chemistry with. Definitely take a leap, but make sure it’s manageable. Don’t change who you are just to be accepted.
6.The Size
The sheer size of a college can be a key factor in making the inevitable decision of which school to attend. An average university has about 5,000-15,000 students. This is considered the middle size. Whereas a large size student body would consist of at least 15,000. And would be considered, “the hard to breathe in the hallway” size. On the opposite end, for those preferring a more intimate experience (modest class size, a more hands-on teaching experience) smaller schools can range from anywhere from 1,000-5,000 kids.
Generally students who prefer smaller schools want more access. Access to professors, campus staff, etc. A smaller school ensures more manageable classes where students can get greater individual attention from professors. And with less students to teach, professors can usually provide a wider curriculum suited to the needs of each student in the class. On the contrary, for students who prefer a larger scape, bigger schools can often offer more social options including campus events and Greek life. Larger schools can also get things on a more grandiose scale, such as bigger guest speakers and campus amenities.
7.The Feel/Energy
Something that often gets lost in the mix when it comes to college shopping is the “feel” of the school. The intangible qualities that you can’t simply quantify. Like what does it feel like when you set foot on campus? Other factors to consider include, how fast do things move on campus, is it at a breakneck speed or is it more relaxed? Do students only go to off campus parties or do they happen right in the dorms? Do I have to immediately fit in with a particular group or can I do my own thing?
At the end of the day, it is your decision. What does your guts tell you? What feels right? This is the type of thing that you will know when you see it. Even if one school seems absolutely perfect on paper, you have no idea if it’s a good fit until you actually visit. Which is why it is very important to attend events such as accepted students day and to visit the school as many times as possible before enrolling.
8. Housing
Unless you are commuting (like millions of students), when you go to college you have to live somewhere. And a question that almost every parent asks is “what do the dorms look like?” And as a student this is important for you to. There are some things you need to know. How many kids are on my floor? Where are the washer and dryer, are the rooms air conditioned? Do the rooms connect directly to the dining hall?
Aside from dorms, most schools do provide additional on campus housing options for upperclassman. These include onsite apartments and houses. And if you are really ambitious you can get an off campus apartment. When evaluating a school’s housing, also make sure that their facilities are up-to-date. You would not want to put down a deposit on a room that was built in 1902, unless you really have a thing for classic architecture. It’s also good to avoid housing that draws a striking resemblance to the janitors shed.
9. Sports and Clubs
According to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, students prefer that college funds be used for athletics and student programming. Which could make this particular area of a given school competitive in a number ways. So before making that big decision find out what sports each school offers and what clubs are available on campus. Especially if you’re looking to play a college sport. You never know, they may offer rugby or have a nationally ranked curling team. Just make sure they have the right clubs and sports to suit your needs.
Sometimes playing some club soccer or Frisbee is a great way to unwind after hours of studying. And other clubs can provide intriguing benefits as well. For instance you can do a lot of networking through a club where you share common interests. So the bonding might come through jazz club, T.V. club or the disciples of Bieber club. You never know until you ask that campus tour guide. Bottom line, clubs are important.
10. Location
In what part of the country or world is your school? The South, Midwest, Europe? While some kids may want to stick to what they know, if they’re from the east coast they may want to stay on the east coast or vice versa with students coming from the west. Some however, may be intrigued by the possibility of a change of pace. And in that case a school in Hawaii or Australia could carry a lot of appeal. So don’t be afraid of widening your range of where the school is geographically.
When researching locations, kids often look for schools in places that fall in one of three categories. Either the school is far from home (multiple hours away), making it next to impossible to come outside of holidays and vacations. Its right in your backyard, for easy access at all times. Or it’s somewhere in between. Find out where your comfort lies before flying coop and you will be less likely to regret your decision later. Remember, Siberia is a long way from home.

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50 Extraordinary Women You Won't Believe Actually Exist

Luke Chase May 25th 2016 Entertainment
It's likely that the women in your day to day life are pretty "normal" in appearance. So when you see someone whose appearance differs from what you expect it to be, it can be kind of a shock. The ladies in the following slideshow are definitely far from average. Some of these women spent thousands of dollars on plastic surgery, tattoos, or body piercings. Others are born with strange birth defects such as excessive facial hair, a gigantic butt or even an 8 inch tongue. See for yourself!
Lauren Williams: 4 Foot Long Legs
Lauren Williams has the longest-known legs in the United States, with her eye-catching limbs measuring an incredible 49 inches from hip to heel. Lauren's height and long-legged genes can be attributed to her family as her father, mother and twin sisters are all 6ft or taller. She has US size 11 feet (UK size 10), and revealed that she can find it tricky to buy clothes that fit. When modelling, single Lauren - who has worked on campaigns for global brands such as Nike - does everything from sports and fitness to high fashion and swimwear.
Having played volleyball in college, as well as being extremely active, Lauren also enjoys shooting sporty campaigns. As well as modelling, Lauren works as an educator at a children's museum in Houston and enjoys travelling. When out and about, her striking looks and long limbs mean she gets comments about her legs on a daily basis.
Pixee Fox: Dangerously Small Waist
Swedish born Pixee Fox had already spent more than $80,000 on plastic surgery attempting to sculpt the perfect hourglass figure. But now she has taken her obsession even further by having 6 of her lower ribs removed - so she can shrink her waist to a record-breaking 14 inches. Pixee, from Sweden, said: "People often come up to me and say, "don't take this the wrong way, but you look like a cartoon" - but for me that's a compliment, that's what I want to achieve.
With 6 of her lower ribs removed, Pixee's lower internal organs, including the liver, have lost some of their natural protection - but she isn't worried. She said: "Before if I was in a car crash I would normally break my ribs. If that happened now I'm probably going to break my spleen instead. In total she has had four rhinoplasties costing $14,000; four breast augmentations of 200cc, 525cc, 800cc and 1400cc costing $28,500; two rounds of liposuction at $5,000; two upper eyelid surgeries at $6,000; a labiaplasty costing $4,000; a Brazilian butt lift at $9,000 and cool-sculpting, cheek injections, and lip injections at about $12,000.
Bethany Hamilton: One Armed Pro Surfer
Bethany Meilani Hamilton-Dirks is an American professional surfer who survived a 2003 shark attack in which her left arm was bitten off, but ultimately returned to-and was victorious in-professional surfing. On October 31, 2003 Hamilton, aged 13 at the time, went for a morning surf along Tunnels Beach, Kauai, with best friend Alana Blanchard, Alana's father, Holt, and brother Byron. Around 7:30 a.m., with numerous turtles in the area, she was lying on her surfboard with her left arm dangling in the water, when a 14-foot tiger shark attacked her, severing her left arm just below the shoulder.
Despite the trauma of the incident, Hamilton was determined to return to surfing. Three weeks after the incident, she returned to her board. Initially, she adopted a custom-made board that was longer and slightly thicker than standard and had a handle for her right arm, making it easier to paddle, and she learned to kick more to make up for the loss of her left arm. After teaching herself to surf with one arm, on January 10, 2004, she entered a major competition. She now uses standard competitive performance short-boards. The broken surfboard that Hamilton was riding during the attack is on display at the California Surf Museum
Mayra Hills: World's Largest Fake Breasts
Mayra Hills - also known as Beshine - measures at 59-28-36 and says she's the proud owner of the world's largest fake breasts. And it's not hard to believe her claim to fame, considering each of her breasts have 10,000 cc of saline implants and weigh 20 pounds a piece! As you can imagine, it's difficult for Beshine, who wears a size 32Z bra, to find clothes that fit, so the German-born woman has a lot of her items custom-made.
But bra shopping isn't her only woe. She can no longer tie her own shoes and has run into trouble when she's knocked things over with her chest - but it appears she's satisfied with her body, troubles and all. "Some people maybe think the sheer size of my t-ts bring too many handicaps in my everyday life, but hey, having big boob problems is amazing," she wrote on her blog.
Anastasiya Shpagina: Real Life Anime Girl
It's official, this real-life anime trend has gotten completely out of hand. Hardly a day goes by that we don't stumble upon some photos of girls going to any lengths in order to look like real live anime characters. Today's example, Anastasiya Shpagina, an Ukrainian girl who has even taken a Japanese name - Fukkacumi. 19-year-old Anastasiya (Nastya) Shpagina has been called "the new Barbie" by national news outlets, but she later revealed she's striving to become a real-life Japanese anime character, not a doll. She even posted "I am not like a doll, a doll is like me."
Apparently, Nastya has been passionate about makeup even as a young child, always experimenting with it in the mirror. Over time she also developed a thing for Japanese cartoons and it was only a matter of time before she started using her make-up artist skills to transform herself into a real-life anime girl. But just putting on makeup wasn't enough to attain that coveted look, so she decided to lose weight in order to seem more genuine. At 1.58-meters-tall, Anastasiya weighs just 39 kilos and is trying to lose one more in order to look just right.
Chanel Tapper: World's Longest Tongue
The longest female tongue measures 9.75 cm (3.8 in) from the tip to the middle of lip and was achieved by Chanel Tappe on 29 September 2010. Chanel, from Houston, US, shot to fame aged 13 when she was spotted sticking out her monster tongue in a YouTube video. In September Guinness invited Chanel to Los Angeles where they measured her tongue and she narrowly beat two other female contenders to the record.
She said: "I have always been silly and goofy. I love sticking my tongue out at people. I started doing that back in school. I've never had a problem with having a long tongue, it's just fun." Chanel now has set her sights set on Hollywood after finishing her studies. She said: "I'd love to be in a movie. I'm certainly pretty dramatic, so I think I could have the acting gift. "Really, I'd love to meet Adam Sandler, he's my favorite."
Sarah Massey: World's Largest Butt
Sarah Massey would be just another 33-year-old mother-of-two from Chicago - if it weren't for the fact that she also happens to have the world's biggest butt. Though not officially recognized by the prudes at Guinness, Massey's massive 7-foot wide keister requires a pair of 10XL trousers that would comfortably fit all of the Kardashian sisters combined.
Massey insists the condition that resulted in her museum-sized bubble butt is hereditary - "there's nothing I can do about it," she says - but that her love of ice cream certainly contributed to its maintenance. Massey would still like to lose some weight, but says she now has a new-found appreciation for her natural assets, and fervently defends them against anyone who calls them fake. "Some people can't believe one person can have this much butt," she told Barcroft. "Because I've got a relatively small frame on top they say, 'that can't be real.' I carry this weight with me all the time, everywhere I go, it's definitely not fake. Big booties are just in my blood."
Zlata: Extreme Flexibility
Russian-born former gymnast Zlata, 29, posed in leather and lingerie to adopt a series of poses that seem to defy every law of biology. Zlata, who now lives in Germany, is able to create astounding shapes with her body and is so flexible she can cram herself into a 50cm square box. One of her favorite acts is to bend backwards at a 90 degree angle, so the back half of her hands touch her feet and she can also peer through her own legs from behind.
Zlata's gift of flexibility was discovered when she was four years old and by six she was training as a contortionist at a circus school. She has a rare condition which makes all her tendons extremely pliable, which helps in her profession. The former gymnast now spends most of her day working out and training for shows around the world. In 2011 she set the Guinness World Record for the most beer bottles opened in a minute using only your feet.
Kim Goodman: Eyeball Protrusion
Kim Goodman is a woman who is able to pop her eyes out of her eye sockets by 12 millimeters (0.47 inches). She holds the world record for the farthest eyeball protrusion. She lives in Chicago, Illinois. She discovered her eyeball popping talent one day when she was hit on the head with a hockey mask. Her eyeballs popped out much further than usual and ever since that day she could pop them out on cue, as well as when she yawns.
She has appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman. In 2004, Goodman was included by Guinness World Records in their 50th anniversary list of top ten "feats" of all time. Kim originally had the record for being able to extend her eye balls beyond her eye sockets by 10mm. This was matched a few years by a new contender, but when Kim was re-measured she found she could now reach 12mm - breaking her own record and keeping the title.
Natalia Partyka: One Armed Table Tennis Champ
Natalia Partyka (born 27 July 1989) is a Polish table tennis player. Born without a right hand and forearm, she participates in competitions for able-bodied athletes as well as in competitions for athletes with disabilities. Partyka reached the last 32 of the London 2012 Olympic women's table tennis. Partyka began playing table tennis at the age of seven. She won her first international table tennis medal in 1999 at the disabled World Championships. At the age of 11, she competed at the 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney, becoming the world's youngest ever Paralympian. In 2004, she won a gold medal in the singles event and silver in the team event at the Athens Paralympics.
Partyka competed for Poland both the 2008 Summer Olympics and the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing - one of only two athletes to do so, the other being Natalie du Toit in swimming. They were her third Paralympic Games, and her first Olympics. Competing in class 10 at the Beijing Paralympics, she won gold by defeating China's Fan Lei by three sets to nil. In 2008, she won a gold medal in the singles event and a silver in the team event at the Beijing Paralympics, repeating her Athens Paralympics result.

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